Message from Paul [Nov. 07, 2011]
To All Our Friends,
Since TSO's inception, the band was intended to be a work in progress, constantly morphing and changing to push the boundaries of music.
If I had to pick the year when Rock Theater was born I would have to say it was in 2004 when I started Night Castle. It was originally going to be a ten-song rock album, but when I discussed this with Jon Oliva he strongly disagreed. This was a total role reversal from our writing partnership with Savatage where I would often push to do another rock opera and Jon would push to do a regular album. Jon was unrelentingly persistent, everyday asking, "So, where is the story?" Finally, I realized that Jon was right and Night Castle went form being a regular album to a double album with a rock opera part that grew to twenty-one songs with an over sixty page Greg Hildebrandt illustrated booklet.
With that realization, TSO began to focus on creating a new hybrid we call Rock Theater. In Rock Theater, the ultimate goal is for the singer and the band to become the characters they are representing. Rob Evan on Night Castle is Tran-Do, Jeff Scott Soto is Lieutenant Cozier. On Toccata-Carpimus Noctem, Al Pitrelli's guitar solo puts you in the middle of that battle. In Beethoven's Last Night, our goal is to have the vocalists and musicians so nuanced and precise that within moments you are not in an arena or theater but in Vienna in the 1700's & 1800's.
In movies and Broadway shows, the picture on the screen or on the stage set is seen by the eye and lines up the synapses in our brain to put you in the place the writer desires, but in Rock Theater the projector is the human voice or musical instrument and the screen is the human mind. It is the hardest screen to project on to but if you can accomplish it, the emotional impact is staggering.
As I mentioned in the beginning Trans-Siberian Orchestra, like all humans, like the world, like the universe is a work in progress. With your patience, we will continue to try to improve both the albums and live concerts and hopefully will never let you down.
Sincerely from New York City (Nocturnal Division),
Paul O'Neill and all of us from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra